East Africa’s leading telecom, Safaricom has received approval from the Communications Authority (CA) (the oversight authority for broadcasting services in Kenya) to start creating and airing its local TV content.
Francis Wangusi, the managing director at CA, back in July 23 wrote a notice reading: “The authority wished to notify the general public that any person natural or legal entity, desirous of making any representation and/or objection to the grant of the said licenses herein to do so vide a letter…before expiry of 30 days from the date of this notice.”
In the event any person has any objection to the awarding of the license to Safaricom, such a person is instructed to draft a letter to the CA and also copied to Safaricom.
The CA has granted Safaricom four TV broadcasting licenses, which is subject to objections from the members of the public within the next one month. The move by Safaricom is expected to rejuvenate consumers’ interest in buying the Big Box, an Internet-enabled set-top box launched by the telecom back in May.
Should everything go according to plans, Safaricom will be able to air the commercial free-to-air TV stations and provide Internet protocol TV services, terrestrial subscription broadcasting services as well as subscription management.
With the FTA TV license from the CA, Safaricom will be able to create its own content and air it terrestrially and online. The telecom is also positioned to give South Africa-owned MultiChoice Africa a run for its money in the lucrative pay TV market. Safaricom will also go up into competition against the Wananchi Group-owned Zuku, which offers Triple Play services; pay TV, Internet and telephone services.
The licensing may just be what Safaricom need to start getting Return on Investment on the set-top box launched back in May. Critics argue that the Safaricom Big Box did not take off as much as they expected.